A 20-question interview with music teacher and former ‘The X Factor’ vocal coach Oliver Popa
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
My guiding force is wit and intuition. I am of the belief that what your intuition tells you at the beginning is the feeling that you must go with.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“Live for yourself, not for others”.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2016?
I think that in 2016 it is unacceptable that we are still killing ourselves in the name of God. We should stop this as soon as we possibly can.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
I miss respect. We are all so rude and don’t seem to care about anyone but ourselves.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I would swap it for the health of someone else very dear to me and to retain my soul. There are not too many people that deserve this but I would sacrifice myself for the person that I feel would do the same for me.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
I may be not the right person to have an opinion about this but I think this is a well-staged script that is in the making and we all need just to take a seat and relax and let them ruin our lives. I am sorry to say this, but we are too small to change what will happen next.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“Can’t” – I hate this word. People say it all the time to everyone and everything. They just don’t want to do anything for others and just want to do things only for themselves.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I think it is true. You have to learn this from home. I support mostly those who are abandoned and all alone in this world. I think it is the worst thing in life to be alone and to have nobody to talk to.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
I think that these devices should remain for personal use only. Let us not mix our personal lives with our professional ones. When you are an important person, you need to pay more attention to this as everyone is watching you and you need to set a good example.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
First of all, I would invite my family and closest friends. They matter more to me than any personality. After them, I guess I would take with me the big artists that I love and appreciate including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Celine Dion, Beyonce and Ricky Martin.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
Well, this is an easy question for me answer. I am a big fan of Burger King so bring me all they have on the list. A triple whooper would be especially good.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
If we are talking about water, early in the morning. If we are talking about alcohol, we don’t really need to drink every day. I think we should save drinking for special occasions and not have it as part of our day-to-day routine but, on the other hand, 8pm in the evening is perfectly OK.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A cup of tea.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
I enjoy big awards ceremonies and recently went to the Olivier Awards. It felt like home as I was surrounded by people I admire and respect.
Who is the most positive person you know?
I’m a really happy and positive person. All my friends tell me that often.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
I honestly would say food.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
I think it would have to be a music key. I live and breathe music so I think that would be what would sum me up best.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
I have a saying: “There are two types of cars: There is the Mercedes-Benz and there are the others”. So, I guess, a Mercedes-Benz is the answer.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I got my biggest surprise this year after my birthday. I didn’t know that my friends had organised another surprise party just afterwards. I was surprised and happy at the same time.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A cat and lots of music CDs.
London based Oliver Popa is a music teacher. He was a vocal coach on the ‘The X Factor’ between 2011 and 2016 and has performed in musicals including ‘Romeo & Juliet’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘My Fair Lady’.
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A young man with his head on his shoulders. I enjoy watching The X Factor (I am 87) and I hope to see him on it in the near future.
Can’t claim to know of him before reading this but he seems down to earth. What kind of music teaching does he do? My daughter is currently learning to play the piano and I am not happy with the quality of tuition. Can Oliver help?
Thank you all for your kind words.
I am teaching vocal pop – musicals.
Always happy to help if i can.